5 Tech Trends for 2014

Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Wearable technology. We already have Google Glass and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, and LG and Sony are hot on their tail. The Apple’s iWatch will be out in 2014.

If you’re looking for high-end styling these may not be the fashion accessories for you, but they do offer a lot more than your conventional watch can deliver. The Google watch for instance will more than likely integrate Google Now, which aims to seamlessly provide relevant information when and where you want it.

As these watches become smarter, the technology will eventually be able to track your daily activities and behaviors and filter specific information and news to you based on that data.

3D printing & large-scale manufacturing. As the price of 3D printers comes down, more individuals and small businesses will begin to make use of the technology, but we’ll also see more adoption by larger manufacturers. The cost of doing business in China and other far-flung regions is increasing, and manufactures are looking to make their products closer to home, and with greater customization, and 3D printing technologies will play a huge role here.

Smart TVs & manufacturer-media partnerships. With Smart TV shipments expected to reach 123 million in 2014, the way we consume television is changing radically. On the rise are voice control and face and gesture detection technologies, as well as screen-mirroring and second screen functions that allow consumers to wirelessly transfer content from mobile devices to TV and vice versa.

We’ll continue to see a rise in apps that deliver curated media and more partnerships between media networks and TV manufactures to provide on-demand shows.

Apple’s iTV is set to be released this summer and Forbes recently reported that Apple may be in the process of making a deal with Time Warner to facilitate programming on Apple devices.

Using big data to target individuals. Big data will become more valuable and actionable over the next few years. Cloud-based services and tools will help democratize big data, giving even smaller businesses the ability to store and analyze big data for business insights. And social-media platforms that already generate continuous streams of data about individuals will be tapped more and more by companies that want to better target their products to consumers.

Smart, connected products revolutionize cities. In 2013 we wrote widely about smart, connected products and how they will revolutionize the way we live our daily lives, from how we travel around our cities—via smart bicycles and driverless cars or Zipcars—to how we interact and communicate with the products in our homes to how manufactures are making use of software in automobiles and other products in order to provide better service to consumers.

This trend will continue to grow in 2014. Over the next decade there will be an estimated 30 billion connected things, and over 200 billion things will have intermittent connections. Cities will become increasingly smart as sensors and cloud-enabled apps connect our homes, transportation, services and utilities, health care, and more.

Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

About Nancy Pardo

Nancy Pardo is a Seattle-based writer and editor. She holds an MA in Professional Writing. She began her career as a Washington DC-area reporter, moving on to become an editor and contributor for several top industry magazines in the U.S. and the Middle East. Nancy currently works for PTC as content marketing director and manages the company's award-winning blog Product Lifecycle Stories.
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